The craft beverage industry is thriving in Springfield and the Ozarks. Local establishments produce local libations like never before. This post is one of three that focus on the libation crafters of the Springfield area.
From successful wineries to hometown breweries, the Springfield area is home to a growing number of local businesses specializing in crafting delicious adult beverages.
Just in the last decade, downtown Springfield’s brewery district has flourished, creating craft beers, as well as signature events to go along with them. Local distilleries and wineries have appeared on the scene, making Springfield the go-to destination in the Ozarks for breweries, wineries and distilleries.
Springfield Brewing Company
When Springfield Brewing Company (SBC) opened its doors in downtown Springfield in 1997, it was the talk of the town. Missouri’s third-largest city finally had a brewpub. The craft brewery and restaurant quickly became the go-to venue in the Queen City, where visitors could grab a cold one in the tradition of English, German and American style ales and lagers.
“When SBC opened, it was the first revitalization project in downtown and it’s continued to be very popular ever since,” says Bryan Bevel, director of operations.
Since purchasing SBC from Paul Mueller Co. in 2010, Bevel and his business partners have focused on expanding the brewery to sell craft beer in market as well as the brewpub.
“This $1 million expansion will take us from brewing around 2,000 barrels of beer per year to somewhere north of 6,500 barrels per year,” adds Bevel. “We’re also adding 7,000 square feet of fermentation cellars to our production site.”
Along with the expansion, SBC is home to Springfield’s new Trolley Bike. Riders can grab a growler of their favorite lager at SBC then take a guided tour through downtown.
Bevel says the addition of new breweries such as Mother’s Brewing Company and White River Brewing Company in Springfield is good for business overall.
“It’s a community,” he says. “We’re all in this together to promote good beer.”
Mother’s Brewing Company
Just a few blocks away from SBC at Mother’s Brewing Company, a canoe filled with cans of Cucumber Saison beer greets guests at the release party for the brewery’s Backyard Beers series.
Kyle Jeffries, tasting room manager at Mother’s, shuffles back and forth between the beer tent in the yard and the inside tasting room where beer lovers are sampling a number of brews.
We’re taking our love of craft beer and Springfield and representing that to the region,” he says. “Since we started brewing in 2011, we’ve produced a number of smaller batch beers that have only been served in our tasting rooms. Now, we’re moving some of these beers to market.”
Mother’s is a production brewery, focusing on packaging and distribution of their heady brews across a large territory. But, they’ve also become well-known for their backyard events where hundreds will gather to celebrate all that is beer.
“We have this beautiful backyard and it really is a community space,” says Jeffries. “People can bring their family and enjoy our beer and have a really good time. It’s a special place in downtown Springfield.”
“It’s an exciting time for us and for the craft beverage industry in Springfield,” adds Jeffries. “We have three breweries in this town and we’re all making our own individual take on craft beer. Any beer lover would have no trouble spending a weekend in Springfield discovering everything on the craft beer scene. Then you add the wineries and distilleries on top of that…anyone who is into craft production, either brewing or distilling or winemaking, is going to find a wealth of opportunity to explore right here in the Springfield area.”
White River Brewing Company
Perched on the west end of Springfield’s historic Commercial Street (C-Street) in a building that used to be home to a gas station, White River Brewing Company has quickly become a go-to destination for any beer lover.
Owner John “Buz” Hosfield began test brewing on the site in 2012 and tapped his first keg of beer Feb. 1, 2013.
“At the time, there was really only one production brewery in Springfield so it was the perfect time for us,” says Hosfield.
Word of mouth began to spread as more and more people visited the tasting room to sample the delicious lagers from the tap.
“After two years, we decided we needed to do something more and completely remodeled the tasting room,” says Hosfield. “We had the bar built, added a new patio building and finished the inside to get to where we are today.”
Above the bar in the new tasting room, a teaser for an upcoming brew promises a cilantro lime lager in the near future.
“We’re always trying new things,” adds Hosfield. “It keeps it exciting.”
Hosfield says more and more people are discovering this gem of a spot on C-Street through word of mouth and with the help of friends.
“People will visit Mother’s Brewing Company and they’ll send them here and we do the same thing. We support each other.”